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tv   Crossfire  CNN  May 2, 2014 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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is president obama fixing the u.s. economy? or holding it back? tonight, on "crossfire." welcome to "crossfire." i am van joecnes on the left. >> i'm newt gingrich on the right. two different views on today's big jobs report. just a few hours ago president obama had the audacity to begin his news conference by patting himself on the back for today's supposedly stellar jobs report. >> first as president, my top priority is doing everything that we can to create more jobs and opportunity for hardworking families for our economic strength as a source of strength in the world. >> so let me get this straight. somewhere between the asian pivot, the ukrainian crisis and his meeting with angela merkel the president wants us to believe his top priority is whatever the latest news story is. anybody who goes out in this economy and brags has every
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worried american asking what planet are you living on? the answer is planet obama. u.s. economic growth in the first quarter was 0.1%. after five years of obama's mismanagement, only bureaucrats and billionaires are doing well. all of the rest are just left out. now don't you think that's right? >> no. look, first of all, no good deed goes unpunished in this country. we have 50 months of job creation. 9 million jobs have been created. we got the best report in years. and we get this kind of stuff. listen, in the "crossfire" tonight we two members of the house appropriations committee. democratic representative barbara lee of oakland, california. welcome to you. republican representative andy harris of maryland. you're both in the "crossfire." i'm going to start with you. i cannot believe that the republicans even today are not willing to at least give this president some credit. ronald reagan in 1987 had 6.3%
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unemployment and you guys called him a hero. we got 6.3% unemployment today. how many airports are you going to name after president obama given his performance so far? >> well, considering the labor force participation rate is lowest in decades. honestly, isn't that what this is all about, how many people are actually participating in the labor force? look, you know, they tell me in the eye of a hurricane weather looks pretty good. that's what we're in. we had one piece of good news amidst all the bad news of this economy. low economic growth, 0.1% gdp growth. the only thing that was good about that i guess is because obamacare raised health care spending 9.9% in the first quarter. we bent the health care cost spending way up. >> this is going to be a very hot show. i'm going to let my congresswoman from oakland put you straight then i'm coming at you. >> i can't even believe this. you know, first of all, during the shutdown we lost 1.6 million jobs. >> thank you. >> so you got to remember that.
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secondly, when president bush left office, could you remember how many jobs we were losing each and every month? thirdly, we were on the brink of one of the greatest depressions ever. and president obama turned this around. and so, come on, you got to give him some credit. i mean, we haven't gotten to where especially in communities of color where we need to get. but when you look at the fact that, yes, there are 800,000 people who have just dropped out of labor force. you know what, newt, we can't even extend unemployment compensation so they can get the unemployment compensation so they don't fall off of the brunch. >> let me ask you a question. >> and over the edge. >> you're a californian. you made the point that you've got far too low an employment rate particularly for minorities, particularly for teenage minorities. and yet the difference in unemployment between california and north dakota, california has more than three times as many people unemployed as a percent of population as does north dakota. and you just saw toyota announce
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that they're taking over 7,000 high-paying jobs out of california to texas which, of course, makes rick perry very happy. i mean, isn't there a lesson here about how taxes and high regulation and expensive government that maybe we should be paying attention to? >> no, because let me tell you, california, first of all, is one of the most innovative states, is the innovative state in the country. secondly, we have a lot of high-tech but haven't had the workforce investment from the congress which we've been trying to pass to invest in workforce training and education so that people who have been unemployed, especially under the bush economic policies and during that era, they haven't been able to get the workforce training and the type of skills training requisite that's requisite for these new jobs that exist now. >> and to you, congressman, this is the kind of stuff that used to be bipartisan. she's talking about investing in american workers. the other thing that used to be bipartisan was investing in infrastructure. i want to show you something happening in your state.
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roll this tape. this is the kind of stuff that's happening across the country. look at this. this is a street falling into a river and people screaming and watching that go down. why? because across the country, we're not investing enough in american infrastructure and republicans won't work with democrats to do that. why aren't you guys reaching across to support the president with infrastructure investment? >> let's remember -- >> that's real job creation. >> let's remember who controls that jurisdiction. run by democrats for decades with complaints about that street for five years in the administration. >> and the highway trust fund which would stop this from happening in wrr state and across the country is about to run out of money in september. why won't republicans help americans get good jobs stopping this kind of stuff? >> we need -- you know, the speaker's right. we need good jobs. we need good jobs by doing things like building the keystone xl pipeline. removing all the barriers to making this an energy economy. you know, the unemployment rate, you know, we set the bar pretty darn low if this is a great employment report.
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when reagan's recovery, we had a million jobs created. not 200-some thousand. >> i have to ask, you had pointed out what we hadn't covered earlier which is shouldn't the current governor of maryland have been aware of that street? >> the mayor, the governor, the entire -- the complaints were for five years that things were happening on that street. >> you guys want to blame this one mayor, one governor. civil engineers have looked across this country and gave americans a report card, at the beginning of this year of a d-plus for infrastructure. that's a global embarrassment. that's real job creation. you guys aren't happening. why not in why won't you work with this -- >> do we want a stimulus? >> let me tell you, we do need a -- >> politifacts said -- >> recovery act which no republican voted for. >> the shovel-ready jobs. 7%. >> we'd have job if we invested in infrastructure and people kept working or were rehired on an infrastructure projects.
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the president has put forward the american recovery act. infrastructure. investment. can't even get that passed. >> you're offering a very enthusiastic defense. >> well, i -- the facts speak for themselves. >> i know. >> the facts speak for themselves. >> didn't it bother you a little bit when the president said, you know, these shovel-ready jobs weren't ready. remember that statement? >> 7%. 7% of shovel-ready jobs. >> let me ask you a different problem that is going to affect jobs in america, because i think all of us are concerned if you look even at the jobs created in the last month that report, too many of them are low-paying jobs. what we're not seeing is the return of high-paying jobs. there's a report out this week because of the u.s. tax code, pfizer, our biggest pharmaceutical company, may literally move its headquarters to london in order to get under the british tax code. it's hard for me to realize the british tax code could be that much better than the american tax code. doesn't this call for maybe taking a serious look at rethinking the tax code so
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american companies and other companies have a real incentive to invest here rather than literally thinking about moving o offshore? >> well, let me tell you, i've always supported tax fairness. we need to stop providing tax incentives for companies to site offshore because that's how american jobs are lost. secondly, when you look at income inequality, newt, you're looking at ceo compensation that's unheard of, off the scale, and in fact, now we're looking at this huge wage gap between ceos, their salaries and low-wage workers. and it's continuing. the gap is continuing. and also, finally, i just have to say on this points if you look at the subsidies, which taxpayers are paying to corporations to pay low-wage workers $7.10, $7.25 an hour. $243 billion the federal government, taxpayers, subsidizing corporations because people are poor. they have to apply and live off
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of food stamps, medicaid, section 8 while they're working full time. and taxpayers are subsidizing corporations so these ceos can make these megabillion dollar salaries and these people need some help. in other words, raising the minimum wage. >> you're going to lead us right into the next segment. >> exactly. in fact, when we get back, i want to make sure that you know about the most radical republican idea yet because it is really, really stupid. you can get a hint about how dumb it is by taking a look at the "crossfire" quiz. republican friends pretend like a handful of teenagers earn minimum wage. how many americans work at or below the minimum wage? 750,000? 1.7 million? or 3.5 million? we'll have those answers when we get back. passion...
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welcome back. big news today. we have a great jobs report. lowest unemployment rate in almost six years. thank you, mr. president. but we are not out of the woods yet. i want you to look at the answer to our "crossfire" quiz. we still have 3.3 million americans who are working at or below the minimum wage of $. .25 an hour. now, unfortunately, the republicans won't let the -- the republicans won't let the president give these workers a raise. now, check this out. you have republicans, they don't want laws that promote equal pay for women. unemployment insurance. they don't want to extend the runway for active job seekers who need gas money to get to their job interviews. and no raise for americans. but that's not the nuttiest part. now you have republicans like tom coburn saying crazy stuff like this. "i don't believe there ought to be a national minimum wage. that's my position."
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so, in the "crossfire" tonight we've got republican representative andy harris, democratic representative barbara lee. both in the "crossfire" tonight. i'm going to go to you. are you willing to go on the record endorsing these radical view from coburn that says america shouldn't even have a national minimum wage? >> we certainly ought to raise the -- we shouldn't raise the national minimum wage. i was a small businessowner in my district, rural area, and she was very worried because she has a small business. >> i got you. >> supposed to hire people. >> i'm not going to let you out of this. yes or no? is a national minimum wage a good idea or bad idea? >> should be left where it is. >> so you're for it? you're for national minimum wage. >> where it is. >> not a penniless, not a penny more? happens to be perfect right now? >> if states want to increase it or cities, god bless them, but, you know, if the jurisdiction -- >> now since you're talking about the raise, i want to make sure you know the vast majority of the american people, 69% of the american people agree with me we should raise the minimum
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wage to $10.10. 23% disafree with that. why are you smarter than 69%, 70% of the american people. >> i bet you didn't ask the question what if raising the minimum wage to $10.10 lost 500,000 jobs in the american economy? that's what the nonpartisan cbo says. i bet the question wasn't asked that way. >> i was a small businessowner before i came to congress for 11 years 3rks 300-plus employees. not only paid higher minimum wage, we paid a living wage. productivity was off the scale. to turnover. you can't tell me that when companies -- >> got to congress. >> companies paid decent good wages with good benefits, they make money. >> then they would pay higher wages. that's the way the market works. it's not the president who gives anybody a wage. it's the small businessowner giving someone a raise. believe me, if they thought productivity would go up, they'd be giving that increase. >> let me ask that question
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since you're a good advocate for this. the mayor of seattle is proposing that the minimum wage ought to go up to $15 an hour. >> good for him. in california, more than likely from what i remembered, a living wage where people could live and take care of their families and move toward achieving the american dream was about $25, $26 an hour. >> so would you support that as a minimum wage for california? >> absolutely i would support it for california. i think the regional factors -- >> won't have an effect on unemployment? >> no, newt, trust me, believe you me you'd have a more productive workforce, you'd have people who could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live. you would increase diversity in certain communities where you don't have diversity anymore. you would have economics and an income gap would begin to close. >> let me shock my good friend here. >> oh, no. >> i'm going to be bolder than tom coburn. angela merkel, chancellor of germany is visiting today.
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the most productive country in europe. 40% of young people in apprenticeship programs. it has no minimum wage. in fact, if you look at western europe as a group, the countries that have a minimum wage have 13.8% unemployment. the countries with no minimum wage, and these are, by the way, higher income countries. these are norway, sweden, austria, germany. they have 6.3% unemployment. what's wrong with this country? here are countries that say we're going to be economically productive. they have half the unemployment rate of the countries that have a social welfare state. what am i missing here? >> one, i lived in england for two years. i know great britain and know europe very well. what you're missing is they have a safety net, first of all. they have universal health care. day have -- young people have access to education. cost of housing is much lower. their governments ensure that there's a minimum standard of living and, in fact, the
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unemployment compensation is there for them. in fact -- >> i'm going to shock you, too. i think california ought to raise its minimum wage really high so maybe even maryland can get more jobs because they will leave california. they just did. toyota left for texas. believe me, it's because the taxes are high. one of the reasons you need a living wage that high in california, they tax everything that moves in california. >> let me move to a different topic related, though. you're talking about the people who are unemployed. you're concerned about that. you want people to be able to get work. why won't you republicans in the house support the bipartisan senate bill to extend that runway under those active job seekers? i do not understand your position on unemployment insurance. these are active job seekers. these are people who are trying to get work and you got a bipartisan solution in the senate. are you for it or against it? >> i've signed on to the bipartisan solution in the house. it says you extend the unemployment but you build a keystone pipeline. >> exactly. all this stuff -- >> paying for. >> you didn't do that under george w. bush. you have people in watching
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you -- >> i think this is the worst crisis we've had. this is the most we've spent on unemployment. this is, whether i'm going ask my children and grandchildren to play for it. what is mean is telling my children and grandchildren to pay for that. >> people who lost their unemployment at the end of december are living many living in cars now. they need their unemployment. this is an emergency. >> and we have -- the bill is in the house. all it says -- >> go back to europe. >> you don't get disability plus unemployment insurance. >> there is actually a bill that has passed in the senate that doesn't do all these tricks. look, when george w. bush was president, you extended it. you didn't try to figure out i'll pay for it and stick in your favorite projects. don't you love americans now? >> i'm going to shock you. the senate is a little different from the house. the senate senate wants to spend money without thinking of the effect on the fiscal situation. the house wants to act
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responsibly. >> george w. bush was president, the keystone pipeline would be completed by now. >> and you would have 33 permanent jobs. >> our values are we are our brother's keeper. we are our sister's keeper. we should be careful that we don't start playing around with that value. people deserve to -- they pay into unemployment. >> our children and our grandchildren's keeper. don't we owe them some obligation to not bankrupt them? >> yeah, be you don't need to play them against each other. people have paid into unemployment. they deserve their unemployment compensation. >> we do things like say look, you should actually, if you claim the dependent child tax credit, you ought to have a social security number on your tax return. $4 billion a year paid illegally by the irs for that. it could pay for all we need. >> three million people deserve their unemployment. >> let's give it to them. >> two things. first of all, every single time
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anything happens in america, you guys scream keystone pipeline. it was last night we were talking about putin, and how to stop putin, a tyrant from eating europe. you know what the answer was? build the keystone pipeline. i just want to make sure you know and people back home know you're talk about 3,000 temporary jobs for one year and 33 permanent jobs patching the pipe. 33 permanent jobs patching the pipe. >> by building it. if you build it, it won't come up again. >> but you hold people hostage for a signal on keystone is not an american value. the majority of people would say mo way to that. >> you need to give me a shot here. stay here. we want you at home to weigh in on today's question. do you agree with the seattle mayor that the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour? tweet using #crossfire. we'll have the results after the break. we also have the outrage of the day. i'm outraged that only billionaires are lining up to
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now it's time for our outrages of the day. i'm outraged that only billionaires get to own sports teams, and it's largely a rigged game. with all the talk about the nba owners forcing donald sterling to sell the los angeles clippers, i think the people of los angeles deserve a chance to bid against the billionaires lining up to buy the team. calista and i own a share of stock in the green bay packers.
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i think it would be very helpful for america to move professional sports back to a community-based system instead of bail they're-based system. after all, most sports arenas are built with taxpayer money. why shouldn't taxpayers also have a chance to own the team? and i'd just be curious what you three think of that. >> i actually kind of a agree with you, newt. >> i think it's a very novel idea, although you say that green bay that has that model. i think any time people are invested, invested in any economic activity, it's really very intriguing. >> you're right. they pay for stadiums. they ought to be able to own the team. >> that would be a seismic change. >> absolutely. >> in the way these sports have been operated. >> i think we should spread that around. listen. that's a good idea. i want to talk abouting in else. i know everybody is suppose on the happy slappy. it's almost the weekend. that's why i'm outraged. it is going to be anything but a fun weekend for 200 schoolgirls. these are teenagers.
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they were kidnapped by terrorists almost three weeks ago. now, have you heard anything about this? if you have been watching cnn today, you probably have. cnn has been reporting that these terrorists who grabbed these children are selling them off as brides for $12 apiece. now, you imagine the outrage or the hysteria if that was happening in your town. but since it's happening in nigeria, the world doesn't seem to care very much. and to me, that's absolutely outrageous. >> it's a terrible tragedy. but i hope all of you will keep them in your prayers this weekend. >> absolutely. >> let's check on our fire back results. do you agree with the seattle mayor that the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour? right now 54% of you say yes. 46% say no. you should be really happy. >> you actually kind of for it and it turns out you're not. i want to thank you, barbara lee and andy harris. the debate will continue online at as well as face book and twitter.
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from the left, i'm van jones. >> from the right, i'm newt gingrich. join us next time for another edition of "crossfire." "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. next breaking news, donald sterling speaks out. what he is saying about his alleged mistress v. stiviano tonight. plus, who is the woman behind the visors? one of her friends speaks to "outfront." and a massacre thwarted. pipe bombs, guns, pyrotechnic chemicals. how police say an elaborate plot to kill dozens was foiled with days to spare. let's go "outfront." >> good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" on this friday, breaking news. donald sterling breaking his silence. the owner of